After my initial exploration into Food Banks and the struggles of the 13 million people in the UK who currently live below the poverty line, I have become interested in art for social change, and have been reading some of Miwon Kwon’s ‘One Place After Another: Site-specific art and locational identity’. Chapter 4 : ‘From site to community in new genre public art: the case of “culture in action” looks at the work of Suzanne Lacy and the eight projects from Chicago’s 1993 public art exhibition ‘Culture in Action’.
This exhibition highlights the move in public art from an aesthetic function to a design function to a social function. From art and sculptures being placed in public areas, to artist collaborating with architects and designers to artists collaborating directly with local communities. These projects became more about art in the public interest and art critic Arlene Raven argues that artists who engage in such art “aspire to reveal the plight and plead the case of the disenfranchised and disadvantaged, and to embody what they [the artists] view as humanitarian values.”
Suzanne Lacy says that these artists (including herself) choose the “freedom of working in real places, with real people, addressing everyday issues.”